Anybody who has attended Burning Man will inform you that it’s far more than your big city music festival. Burning Man has much more to it than just being a spot to vibe out at, jam, do drugs and take awesome pics while having a once in a lifetime experience. It is a spiritual escape! With each and every year of Burning Man comes an awesome new theme. Provided the theme, fellow artists and creatives run with it to construct their camps, artistic installations and activities. Previous themes have incorporated “Davinci’s Workshop” and “Carnival of Mirrors.” 2017’s theme is “Radical Ritual.” Burning Man will be held between August 27 to September 4, 2017 at Black Rock City (Black Rock Desert, Nevada)
Most people call him Dubfire, his inner circle calls him by his real name, Ali…but me, I gracefully yell out a simple “hey, uh! Your set was awesome!” after I drunkenly spot him at an after hours club, running giddily towards the DJ booth as his bodyguard looks back and glares at me for my failed attempt to make contact. But I’m in a club, I’m energetic, I’m sociable. I will not stop until I have commended him on the amazing 2-hour set I watched him mix live just a few hours prior. Minutes later, inebriated me decides to take to Instagram. I start the comment with the greeting, “Hey Mr. Fire” and send him my best wishes for the evening. I am proud of this nickname I have spontaneously bestowed upon him. Too proud, in fact, that I don’t stop to think about his real name. In retrospect, I begin to wonder where Mr. Fire got his stage name. I guess I can kind of see where he got Dubfire from Ali Shirazinia. There’s no set pattern with electronic DJ’s and their stage names. The genre of the DJ won’t be an indication. Sometimes they simply choose to use their real names (like Joseph Capriati, Armin, Carl, etc). Other times, they dress up as 1/3rd of a s’mores, pretend they’re actually Tiesto and call it a day. With some, the choice is obvious. Take Claude Vonstroke for instance. Even though his stage name definitely belongs in ‘70s mustache porn, I’m sure even then he thought it would be better than going by his birth name, Barclay Macbride Crenshaw. (Say that 5 times fast.) If you want to have some real fun twisting your tongue, try imagining the unlucky MC introducing Swedish House Mafia by their real names, “Welcome Steven Angello Josefsson, Axel Christofer Hedfors and Sebastian Ingrosso!!!!!” The crowd would likely go confused before going wild. Not unlike strippers, I’m sure DJs have fun with stage names. I never sat down and considered what Eric Prydz might have in common with an “exotic dancer”, but now I know the excitement of taking on a different persona if only for a few hours. Eric Prydz, my favorite man of many names, who is known primarily by his real name also utilizes two aliases to differentiate between genres. Most of the tracks are released under the name Pryda will be more on the progressive house side of things. Tracks under his real name will tend to be more commercial and radio-friendly. And when you least expect it during a Prydz show, his alias Cirez D will emerge with dark, progressive tech-house (swoon). This is what the first 10 of MixMag’s top 100 DJs list would look like if everyone used their real names. See how many you know. I would rather see how many of these names I can butcher.
- Martin Garritsen (Martin Garrix)
- Dimitri and Michael Thivaios (Dimitri and Like Mike)
- Robbert van de Corput (Hardwell)
- Armin Van Buuren
- Tijs Michiel Verwest (Tiesto)
- David Pierre Guetta
- Steven Hiroyuki Aoki
- Olivier Heldens
- Sonny Moore (Skrillex)
- Nick van de Wall (Afrojack)
We all might have heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover, ” but in reality, it’s a part of our daily life. Every day someone gets judged because of assumptions that are not entirely accurate, which over the time eventually lead to stereotypes. Stereotyping can be seen in many different ways. As being part of the rave community, I know this way too well. But today we are going to talk about The typical stereotypes DJ’s face.
- DJ’s Aren’t Real Musicians
As you sit there and read this article, I admire that you are curious about festivals across the Atlantic Ocean. It is a sad fact that many Americans don’t leave their country nor do Europeans travel far beyond the festivals in Europe. The chance to learn about an entirely new rave culture is something that transforms you from being just your “average” raver into a “World Class” raver who can brag about their experience abroad. Music and Production In the US, the production of an event takes priority. Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas is regarded as one of the top Music Festivals in the US. What makes EDC unique is the thought of the souvenir ticket box coming in the mail, the huge, elaborate stages, the entertainers, and the fireworks display which put most Independence Day fireworks to shame. The music will come somewhere into that mixture, arguably in a secondary nature. The artist line-up for EDC is good. However, it doesn’t quite compare to that of European festivals. But, the US is beginning to catch up. In Europe, Creamfields in England schedules the music as a priority. A glance over previous years of line-ups will reveal a who’s who of the Dance Music industry. If you were at Creamfields 2016, for the Final sets on Sunday, you had to choose between Eric Prydz, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, Fatboy Slim, Aly & Fila and Tiesto. Creamfields is a well-established brand with a contact book that can lure almost any major DJ to the festival. Additionally, since most DJ’s are European-based, then it makes it easier for them to book on their timetable. Having said that, Europe is catching up on the production levels as Creamfields has introduced new stages such as the Steelyard. Tomorrowland is a good example of a cross between the productions of EDC with nearly the same lineup power of Creamfields. The competition is good for all festivals as it is helping to evolve the scene and enhance the rave experience. The Ravers The culture is very different except with one key value… “Everyone is accepted.” American ravers wear some eccentric clothing. A girl wearing pasties with a thong, wearing a tank top with a unicorn vomiting rainbows and a guy in tight white shorts with rainbow fluffies are all familiar parts of the crowd in EDC. Then there is Kandi. As a European going to an American rave, I had to learn about Kandi and frustratingly had to produce it. The very important notion of PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect) is an inspirational code to have at a rave, although Europeans may see this as a standard with no need to mention it. In Europe, there are fewer outfits and most are conservative compared to the US. The crowd is friendly, and Americans are welcomed as we like to see different cultures embrace the European way. There is no Kandi, and PLUR is unheard of outside of US although girls tend to think it’s cute when you give them a bracelet. Europe has a great music vibe accompanied by many European cultures from Scottish, Irish, English, Dutch and German all mixed together who accept the people from around the world to join our party. The majority of individuals go for solely the musical experience however it is more understated than the major American festivals. Conclusion This experienced ravers advice is to look beyond the festivals in your country. If you love music and you can afford to do it, then travel abroad and look for other festivals. If you don’t have your friends, don’t worry. In both cultures, everyone is welcome. You could be the European who watched those magical EDC fireworks with your new PLUR friends; you could also be the American who went to Creamfields and partied with Scottish people to Above and Beyond. You just need to explore….
With 2016 coming to an end we now get to look forward to 2017 and all the music festivals that are coming up. In this list, you will find new festivals that will be debuting in 2017 along with the awesome well-established ones. 1. SXM Festival (March 15-March 19, 2017) SXM aims to offer something different for house and music fans. Phase 1 headliners announced include Black Coffee, Soul Clap, Lee Burridge, and John Acquaviva to name a few. In addition to setting up a musical paradise for ticket holder’s enjoyment, the festival takes place in an actual physical paradise on the island of Saint-Martin in the Caribbean. Temperatures average in the 80s year round and is blessed with an invigorating landscape composed of breathtaking beaches, rolling hills, and blue seas. 2. Groove Cruise Miami (January 23-27, 2017) Groove Cruise Miami is not for the faint of heart. Four days of nonstop, themed parties on the deck, beaches, and poolside await the seafaring. This year Groove Cruise debuts a new ship and cruise line, the Carnival Victory, that will sail to Grand Turk. This year the Dj Contest is an invitation to remix Markus Schulz’s “In The Night” from his Watch The World EP. The winner will receive a slot on board Groove Cruise Miami, an ocean-view stateroom for two, Groove Cruise and Coldharbour swag, and have the remix played on Markus Schulz’s Global Dj Broadcast podcast. The winner will be announced on December 9, 2017. 3. Middlelands (May 5-7, 2016) Insomniac is introducing a new festival next year that will take place on the grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, Texas. Four days of camping and three days of music across five stages awaits those who hop on the saddle to mosey down to Texas. Early bird tickets and camping passes have sold out to this festival, but tickets will go on sale for the general population on Tuesday, December 6th. There are many different camping options including GA, open field camping, RV camping, Quiet Camping, Sound Camps that encourage sound systems and live DJs, group camping close to Conqueror’s Court and the festival entrance, and premier camping. Middlelands is sure to endear fans of Insomniac festivals. Don’t miss out. 4. Ultra Music Festival (March 24-26, 2017) Ultra Music Festival is held at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Florida and draws over a 100,000 visitors each year. For the last few years, around 165,000 people attended the music festival which has garnered acclaim for its vast array of talent and opportunities to party poolside in Miami. Some of the larger than life acts that have been announced for 2017 include Justice who was last on the Ultra Miami stage in 2012, Ice Cube, Prodigy, Tiesto, Maceo Plex, Above and Beyond, and the super group Underworld. Last year, Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz teamed up at the In A State of Trance Arena for a legendary b2b set. Don’t miss out on the fun and buy your tickets before they sell out.
Being at a festival and looking for party favors (drugs) is incredibly tricky. Or so I’ve heard. Turning on that bloodhound sense of smell, sniffing out who’s holding a beer and who’s chugging water by the liter; observing who’s dancing quite hard and who seems to be sitting down in a trance with just as much devotion. It’s a skill… I’ve been told. On the other hand, getting asked for drugs while you’re out getting lit with the fam is markedly less annoying than typing “getting lit with the fam”. A simple “sorry, man, I got nothing, ” and that’s all it takes to shoo away the asker. It’s a normal occurrence at a festival. Until you realize the guy asking seems to stick out for some reason. You can’t put your finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s wearing clean leather shoes better suited for dinner than for Dim Mak. He’s also staring into your eyes a bit too deeply as if measuring the dilation of your pupils. Then you remember the guy called them “rollies” when he asked, whatever the hell those are. Not unlike grandma trying to use your lingo and failing, the guy standing in front of you asking for illicit drugs does not belong here. Such has been the situation for those of us who have encountered undercover police at festivals. The aim of course is to target dealers, but in some states, a person can be targeted just for being under the influence of drugs (not so in my dearly beloved home state of Florida). Surprisingly, searching the internet will not help you figure out definitively which shows will have more undercover police (although it will remind you to use incognito mode on the work computer.) The size of the festival does not necessarily parallel how much undercover police will be on site either, but in my research, I have noted that the location will portend to that figure. Ultra Music Festival in Miami which houses 165,000 ravers only saw about 65 arrests in 2016. In stark comparison, California’s Nocturnal Wonderland which services about 60,000 reached 428 arrests, averaging about 142 per day. In Las Vegas, Electric Daisy Carnival (with roughly 400,000 attendees) saw about 101 arrests. Meanwhile in California, police arrested 300 people at Hard Summer this year out of a total of 146,000 participants. See the pattern there, Cali? Most of the arrests made in California are for public intoxication, but it seems asinine that this much effort goes towards enforcing this legislation. As my fellow festi-heads will know, using drugs at a festival is the norm. Even if you’re a straight edge individual, you understand and accept this is normal at a large gathering of people getting ready to shuffle poorly in public. Hiring droves of undercover police to arrest people for doing drugs at shows is in the same line of thinking as scolding a horny teenager for having sex (and just as ineffective, if we’re being honest). Safe practices should be taught, but one can’t expect drugs to disappear from the scene. It’s normal; it’s inevitable and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. (Or so I’ve been told.)